Banks are often described as “all the same”, but Horizon Bank is one that actually bucks that notion. There are many reasons for this, the main one being they’re customer-owned and therefore run solely for the benefit of customers.
Thirroul Branch Manager Anne-Maree Hicks says Horizon offers everything a traditional bank does, but they do it with their customers best interests at heart.
“We provide express answers on loan applications, usually within one business day. We offer competitive rates and deliver exceptional personal service,” she says.
“We’re tech savvy too” says Ms Hicks, “often introducing services way before the traditional banks. We were among the first to offer Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and immediate real time online funds transfers”.
The success of their customer-owned model is evident in their longevity, Horizon celebrating their 55th anniversary this year, boasting a 96% satisfaction rating.
Horizon was founded in Wollongong and its branches span the NSW South Coast from Thirroul to Merimbula. This explains their close ties to coastal communities and the environment.
Horizon’s values include being a responsible and influential environmental citizen, which is demonstrated by not directly investing in, or providing loans to, any company in the fossil fuel industry.
They also show their commitment to the community through sponsorships and support. Horizon has been a major supporter of the Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival for the last 16 years.
Not satisfied to just hand over a cheque, they provide in-kind as well as financial assistance.
Horizon has been a collection point for ‘Need a Feed’, women’s refuge and homeless shelters and brings joy via their annual Christmas Village window display at the Thirroul branch.
“Our sponsorship and in-kind activities and our ‘in it boots and all’ culture is what makes Horizon different,” says Ms HIcks. “It demonstrates that we value people, transparency in banking, our coastal communities and the environment.